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madisonblue

My son had an auto accident

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My son just started driving and was involved in auto accident in which he ran into the rear end of a car on a rainy day. At the time neither my son or the other driver was hurt. Now the other driver is claiming injury and my personal injury coverage was $20,000. I can't get any information as to what the injuries are that he is now claiming he has but I do know that he or his insurance company has contacted a lawyer. What are our rights? Should we contact an attorney? My insurance company just keeps say ing that we will handle it and we will be in contact with you and will keep you updated.

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I am assuming that your son is a minor.

Now the other driver is claiming injury. . . . I can't get any information as to what the injuries are that he is now claiming he has. . . .

I assume the other driver has made this claim to your insurer.

What are our rights?

That's a phenomenally vague and broad question.

Should we contact an attorney? My insurance company just keeps say ing that we will handle it and we will be in contact with you and will keep you updated.

I'm not sure what your concern is. It is unlikely that a person who did not claim to be injured at the scene of the accident will be claiming more than $20k in medical expenses. If it appears at any point that there is a reasonable likelihood that the claim will exceed your policy limits, your insurer will let you know. Until and unless that happens, it's up to your insurer to investigate and pay the claim if it deems it appropriate to do so. If a lawsuit is filed, your insurer has a duty to hire a lawyer on your and your son's behalf. This is why you have insurance -- so that you don't have to concern yourself with any of this. Let the insurer take care of this like you pay it to do.

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At this point in time, there is nothing to do but allow your insurance company to handle everything. You cannot control what injuries are being claimed by the other driver so don't worry about it until there is something to worry about. I would recommend you obtain larger limits on your insurance policy. $20,000 is woefully inadequate. Get at least $100,000.

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The other party will first pursue a claim with your insurance company, and although many parties often prefer to settle in these circumstances, they may sue you personally. However, if they do, your insurance has a duty to defend you, and you will only be on the hook if a court awards damages in excess of your $20,000 policy limit. Even then, if their attorney request policy limits and is rejected by your insurance, your insurance could still be liable.

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Initially, your insurance company will handle and hopefully settle the injury claim. It is not uncommon for persons to believe they are uninjured immediately after an accident...then wake up the next day with soreness and pain requiring medical treatment. Hopefully, they are not seriously injured and the adjuster will settle the claim promptly. If so, no car accident attorney will be needed.

I would advise you to obtain larger limits under your liability policy. $20,000, in this day and time, is woefully inadequate. I would suggest at least $100,000.

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